UFC bantamweight contender Jimmie Rivera says that Frankie Edgar turned down a short-notice matchup against him for a Fight Island card next week.
Edgar was set to fight Pedro Munhoz at UFC on ESPN 12: Kattar vs. Ige, but the fight was scrapped when Munhoz tested positive for COVID-19. Immediately, fighters such as Rivera, Chito Vera, and Ricky Simon all raised their hands up on social media by saying they would take the fight but so far no replacement opponent for Edgar has been announced. It’s unknown at this point whether or not Edgar will remain on the card going forward.
According to Rivera, the UFC offered him the fight with Edgar on short notice and he accepted it, but Edgar turned it down. Rivera was instead booked to fight Cody Stamann in a short-notice featherweight bout. Speaking to LowKick MMA’s James Lynch, Rivera explained his side of things and what he heard about Edgar turning him down.
“I got a call for a replacement from my manager Monday, and then at the same time, I heard that Frankie’s opponent Pedro dropped out so I put my name in for that, and unfortunately, Frankie said no. So Cody Stamann was the other person, I said, ‘Alright, I’ll take that fight, and they said, ‘Ok, no problem,’ and I said, ‘Perfect.’ It just ended up working out like that,” Rivera said.
Although Rivera vs. Stamann will take place at 145lbs, Rivera is normally a bantamweight and he said the fight with Edgar would have taken place in the 135lbs division.
“I was going to fight Frankie at 135. I think Cody wanted it at 145, he’s a 135er fighting at 145 so that’s fine with me. That means I just don’t have to cut that much weight,” Rivera said about fighting up a weight class.
Rivera is currently ranked No. 9 overall in the UFC bantamweight division while Stamann is ranked No. 10. Rivera has notable wins in the UFC over the likes of John Dodson and Urijah Faber, but he has lost three of his last four fights coming into this fight with Stamann. In Rivera’s last two fights, he dropped decisions to Petr Yan and Aljamain Sterling. The winner of this fight between Rivera and Stamann will show who is a top-10 guy going forward.
Are you excited to see Jimmie Rivera fight Cody Stamann or would you have rather seen him fight Frankie Edgar?